NAFFAC Rejects Shippers Council Registration Policy 

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Hyacinth Chinweuba

Worried about disruption on the ease of doing business at the ports, 

The National Association of Freight Forwarders and Air Consolidators (NAFFAC) has rejected moves by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) for freight forwarders to register with it.

The group said such responsibility does not fall under the purview of the Council saying it is tantamount to taking over the duty of its sister agency.

NAFFAC also expressed dissatisfaction over NSC new policy, describing it as an additional cost of doing business, which would militate against the presidential directive on the ease of doing business in the ports.

NSC last week introduced registration fee for stakeholders and service providers operating at the nation’s seaports. 

The registration fee, which is to be paid by clearing agents, shipping companies, Indigenous Shippers, Inland container operators, terminal operators, offdock terminal operators is to help the council weed out touts and quacks from the industry.

The President General of NAFFAC, Prince Adeyinka Bakare on Monday stated that it is only the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) that can make such policy.

According to him, “It is a dream that will never come true. Asking agents to come and pay certain money means that it is doing another agency’s work.

“Registration of agents should be done by CRFFN and the right of CRFFN alone. No agency, no terminal or shipping line has the right to ask agents to come and register with them.

“The only person saddled with that responsibility is CRFFN because that is what the Acts says. Every agency has the Act that established it and  what role each should be playing”

While responding to the call on reduction in imported vehicles into the country, the NAFFAC  boss lauded  the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) for the insinuation, pointing out that the duty should be the “newer the vehicle, the lower the duty to encourage importation of new cars into the country”.

“The truth about that is a good policy if it is implemented but I think it should be the newer the vehicle, the lower the duty so that it will encourage Nigerians to bring in newer vehicles  If it is going to be reduction across board, it is still the same because it won’t stop more vehicles coming from Cotonou”.

“It will be good if shipping charges and terminals charges follow suit. It should not be the Customs duty alone. If we want to decongest Apapa port, there must be incentives to people using the other ports like Warri, Calabar, Port Harcourt and other ports.”

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